Thursday, January 27, 2011
Living In The Wake
January 23, 2010.
This is the day we lost my father-in-law.
When I say that I mean that in two ways. It is the day he went missing. And it is the day that he took himself from us. His body wasn't found for 3 days. 3 days of misguided hope and worry.
I was at work when I got the phone call that they had found him. I was immediately angry. I hung up the phone and the first words out of my mouth were "What the fuck was he thinking?!". I went into protective mode and was just mad. Mad for my husband. For my children. For his sons. But mostly for his wife. Who he loved dearly and she loved him. He sent her one yellow rose every Monday for as long as they've been together. How could he leave her? How could he hurt my husband and his brothers like this? How do I explain it to my children?
I. WAS. MAD.
But even so, I miss him. I miss him so much and I want him to take it back. I want him to call my husband and talk for hours like he used to. I want him to meet my baby and watch my kids grow up. I want him to be there when my brother-in-law gets married and has kids. I want him to grow old with his wife like he promised her. But something was so heavy inside him that these moments didn't stop him.
Sometimes depression is a visable beast. And sometimes it's a sneaky bastard. In this case, it was the latter. We were shocked. It was like having the wind knocked out of you and not being able to catch your breath again for a very long time. Someone said that depression is like cancer or any other disease. If it goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can be fatal. If we look at it this way, it makes it easier in some ways. But still hard.
I have a hard time with the word "suicide". I feel like it's a snapshot. Like if you say this is how your loved one died, that's who they are. Period. That's the only picture anyone has of your loved one. But my father-in-law was so much more. He was an amazing man. An amazing father, grandfather, husband, pilot, vetran, brother, friend, and so much more. I honestly don't have a single bad thing to say about him other than that I don't like the way he chose to die.
It has been a long year since he died. With my bed rest, we had so many things going on that we didn't get to process what happened until recently. Now the waves of emotion hit suddenly and without warning. We are left with questions, what if's, guilt, and incredible sadness.
In one bad moment and with one action, a wake was created. It ripples through our days and leaves us grasping for land. For any of it to make sense. Suicide is one moment. But it leaves the people you love living in its wake forever.